Books · interviews

Interview With Book Author Jason Price

Interview With Book Author Jason Price

Hello all,

I had the pleasure to do an interview with Jason Price, the author of “Pleasant Grove”. I read this book recently and I really enjoyed it! It is the perfect adventurous book to read during winter. You can read my review by clicking HERE. Get to know Jason Price better and find out more about his reading and writing preferences and his favourite books.

Who is Jason Price?

I’m a husband and father. I’ve worked in movie publicity for almost 20 years, which, I suppose, tells you the most about me as an author: my lifelong love of movies and storytelling.  

Tell us a little bit more about your book – “Pleasant Grove”.

In many ways, it was movies – particularly those I watched as an adolescent – that most informed the writing of Pleasant Grove. I wrote the novel for my daughters, who are both in grade school now, and approaching the same age when I first discovered movies like The Goonies, and E.T. and TV shows like The Twilight Zone. I wanted them to read a novel that captured the same spirit of wonder and adventure that Steven Spielberg’s Amblin films captured for my generation. Pleasant Grove is the story of a 12-year-old girl named Agnes Goodwin, who lives in an idyllic small town with one peculiar feature: It’s enclosed by a glass dome. But that all changes the day Agnes discovers a strange boy from the outside. The hook was to take a small town and drop it in the middle of a sci-fi story – a story built around a single mystery: What’s outside the dome? I grew up in the suburbs, so I pulled from those experiences as well. The kids’ adventure becomes an exploration of what it means to leave a hometown – what’s gained…and what’s lost.

Interview With Book Author Jason Price

What was your favourite moment when writing “Pleasant Grove”?

My favorite moments are when a character says something, or acts in a way, that’s contrary to my outline. It happened multiple times during the writing of Pleasant Grove, despite my best-laid plans. That’s always exciting, because if I can surprise myself then there’s a good chance it will surprise the reader too.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

Agnes. She’s curious and likes asking questions…which puts her at odds with the adults in the town, who hold the secrets of Pleasant Grove and aren’t too keen on spilling the beans. But Agnes’s quest for knowledge knows no bounds. I hope readers of all ages can identify with her. I wanted to ground the extraordinary in the ordinary. My favorite sci-fi stories would still resonate without the supernatural element, because as much care is given to the ordinary as the extraordinary.  

How long does it take to write a book?

Pleasant Grove took me a little over 2 years, from rough draft to published copy. But the truth is, a book takes as long as it takes. There were months of brainstorming before I began writing. Stories are an accumulation of life experiences, so perhaps the more accurate answer is a lifetime.  

How do you deal with a writer’s block? 

Some days the writing is easy; some days it’s hard. I outline before I start writing, which gives me a blueprint. Inevitably, the characters and story will take the lead, but the blueprint helps mitigate any potential writer’s block. I also find it useful to end the writing day when I know what happens next, so when I sit down again, I have the benefit of a head start. 

What is the most challenging part when writing a book? 

I can only speak for myself here. The way I see it, there are 3 major steps to writing a book: brainstorming, first draft, editing. None are easy, but all hold their pleasures. I find brainstorming to be the most difficult. It’s the foundation. Building a foundation is grunt work; it’s exhausting, and your hands get dirty. But a good foundation – a house with good bones – will see you through; so in that sense, it’s also the most rewarding. 

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

A screenwriter. This started in high school when I began writing screenplays. I also wrote stage plays and had a couple works performed at the Alley Theatre and Stages Theatre in Houston. But there’s a certain creative freedom to the long-form narrative that appeals to me now, namely that the work is complete when I type “The End.” It’s not dependent on funding, or performance, only a willing reader.

What kind of books do you like to read in your spare time? 

At the moment, I’m coming off a deep dive into Stephen King and Richard Matheson. I like genre books that transcend their genre.

When you are not writing, what keeps you busy in life? What are your hobbies? 

When I’m not reading or writing, I’m on the hunt for my next favorite movie or album. Outside of a great book, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as watching a great movie, or listening to a great album, for the first time. 

What is your favorite book, author or quote? 

I’ll take a crack at all three. I’ll pick the first book to really blow my mind, and that’s 1984. Over any other author, give me Stephen King at his best. My favorite quote comes from King: “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” 

What are you planning next for us, readers?

This is going to sound like a dodge, but I like to keep ideas close to the vest. Many of my closest friends didn’t know about Pleasant Grove until it was published.

Get your copy of Pleasant Grove here. And don’t forget to follow Jason Price on Goodreads as well.

Thank you so much for this lovely interview, Jason! I wish you all the luck and success in the future. 

It was a pleasure. Many thanks Ivana!

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Books · interviews

Book Author Interview – Matthew Moss

Author Interview Matthew Moss After the Last Battle blog blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference book books

Hello all,

I had the pleasure to do an interview with Matthew Moss, the author of “After The Last Battle”. Get to know Matthew Moss better and find out more about his reading and writing preferences and his favourite books.

Who is Matthew Moss?

I’m a twenty-three year old author with one book published so far. My future plans are to hopefully publish the sequel to my first book, “After The Last Battle”, within the next year.

Tell us a little bit more about your most recent book – “After The Last Battle”.

The inspiration for “After The Last Battle” actually came from a song that got me thinking about a story in which angels were extinct or nearly extinct. I also toyed with the idea of a world in which the good guys didn’t prevail. A story which focused around the victory of the bad guys intrigued me and fit well with the concept of no angels, so I went with it. In the book, Telarious sets out with an angel in hiding to try to use his newfound abilities to help those he can. Little does he know, that very quest will get him into something deeper than he ever expected.

How do you deal with a writer’s block?

I don’t know that I’ve ever reached a point where I just can’t think of any ideas. Instead, I have the most trouble selecting which ideas are best. Trying to sift through all the possibilities to select the few options for the next scene that fit the scene’s mood, serve the purpose in the story that I want them too, and fit the characters involved is the hardest part. And, my advice for that, is just to sit down and work at it. Eventually, something will come to you that just works.

What is the most interesting thing about being an author?

One of the most interesting things I’ve found that comes with being an author is all the random bits of research. I knew there would be a lot of research involved with writing a book, but I didn’t realize just how many random, odd things I might need to Google. For example, I was helping another author with a question for their book and I had to research whether or not a human body would float in pickle relish. In case you’re wondering, it will.

What is the most challenging part when writing a book?

Details. Details can make or break a story and the reader’s immersion, so keeping everything lined up from one POV to another is difficult but necessary. While the big details might be the most important to keep straight, it’s the small things that are easy to miss. It’s not uncommon that I come to a scene and I have to stop and think, Wait, did I describe this building in the last book as wood or stone?

How long does it take to write a book?

My first book took me about a year to complete from conception to writing the last word. It took a few more months of editing and other finishing touches before it was worthy of publishing.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I actually wanted to grow up to be a Marine and graphic designer. While I always had an interest in stories, it wasn’t until much later that I decided I wanted to be a full-time writer.

What kind of books do you like to read in your spare time?

My preference is definitely fantasy and sci-fi, but I’m not afraid to venture out if the book catches my eye.

When you are not writing, what keeps you busy in life? What are your hobbies?

When not writing, I’m usually at work or playing video games. And, when playing video games, I’m usually kicking myself for not writing.

What is your favorite book, author or quote?

This is a tough one. I really like the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, but it’s hard to say if it’s my favorite series of all time. There are a LOT of good books out there.

Where can we find your content and follow your future steps?

Thank you to Diary of a Difference for the chance to talk a little about my book. Also, thank you to everyone who has helped support a new author’s journey into the literary world.

I’m by far most active on Facebook at FantasticalFiction, but I can also be found on Instagram as @the_american_writer. You can join my mailing list on my website at https://www.fantastical-fiction.com/. On my website, you’ll also find links to all of my other social media and my contact email, as well as the trailers for After The Last Battle. Finally, while still a work-in-progress, you can check out my World Anvil page to get a deeper look into the world, characters, and lore of After The Last Battle at https://www.worldanvil.com/w/after-the-last-battle-fantastical-fiction.

Thank you so much for this lovely interview, Matthew! I wish you all the luck and success in the future.

Purchase Links for “After the Last Battle” by Matthew Moss:
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Book Review · Books

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

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★★★★

I am probably the last person posting a book review for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

When the book came out, the movie followed shortly after. In that time, I decided to watch the movie rather than reading the book. The movie was amazing and I loved it. But a few years later, when this book found its way to me again, I needed to read it and solve the ultimate battle – movie versus books. As it usually happens in my case – the book version won – without any doubts.

The Hunger Games is a story about Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12, who lives with her mum and little sister in the poorest district of them all. She hunts in the woods with her friend/crush Gale in order to provide food for her family.

Surrounded by all twelve districts, there is the Capitol, the shiny city where all the rich and popular people live. A long time ago, the districts tried to go into war and lost. As part of the surrender, each year the Capitol organises a live TV show, called The Hunger Games. Every year, a boy and a girl from each district are randomly chosen to battle in an arena until the last man standing.

When Katniss’s little sister is chosen as the girl tribute from district 12, Katniss volunteers to take her place without even thinking. Both her and Peeta (the male tribute) are then headed over to the Capitol and the preparations for the games can begin.

In a world where people like watching children kill each other, it can be pretty upsetting to see this as a reality. I can’t help but think that unfortunately, people have some instinct left in them and are unconsciously enjoying watching other people suffer. Think of the gladiator fights, ultimate fighting matches and other events similar to these.

Putting that aside, what I love about this book was the attention to details. From the descriptions of the districts, to the preparations for the games. And the game itself was so well written that I kept turning page after page, desperate to see what will happen next.

I love Katniss, her bravery, her love for her little sister, all the sacrifices that she has made. Starting with her volunteering instead of her sister, to her love with Gale. Her spirit to make things right can be felt throughout the whole book. Her rebellion and her stance with all the people that are not treated fairly by the Capitol.

Even though presented as a Young-Adult, I am convinced this is a book every adult should read as well, and have a few thoughts about their surroundings. I loved the first book, and I can’t wait to start reading the second book of the series as well.

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Book Review · Books

The First Time Lauren Pailing Died – Alyson Rudd

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★★★★

The First Time Lauren Pailing Died is a beautifully-written novel that opens your eyes about life and its meaning. A very powerful novel with interesting story. I have read books that have a few similarities to this one, but I haven’t read anything like this before.

The main character in this book is without a doubt, Lauren. In the first chapters, we learn more about her and her parents. Lauren is an intriguing child, able to stare in the distance for a long time and able to see a different mummy that doesn’t exist. When Lauren dies as a teen, the story splits into a few parts and we have parallel universes and different story lines happening.

In one of them, Lauren hasn’t died at all. She wakes up and continues life as normal. In another, her parents have a little daughter and are coping with Lauren’s death while raising the little girl. The third would represents Lauren’s mum who can’t cope with the pain and commits suicide, leaving Lauren’s dad on his own. With all of the story lines, one thing stays the same – a mysterious disappearance of Lauren’s dad’s boss – Peter.

In every life Lauren lives – she feels like she needs to find out what happened to Peter. In all honesty, this mystery was supposed to be the centre of the story in the book, but to me it just didn’t make sense at all. Once we got all the answers, all I could think of was that these two stories could have easily been made into two separate books.

While I had mixed feelings about the mystery of Peter, I definitely loved the parallel universe theme in the book. There were so many alternatives in Lauren’s life. It puts into perspective how one choice in your life can make a difference in the long run. If you only change one decision, you could end up somewhere completely different.

I cannot recommend this book enough, if this is a genre that intrigues you. If you are planning to read it, I would suggest to avoid reading reviews and synopsis and go with a blank page of expectations. The less you know – the better your experience will be. Keep your mind open and enjoy. Happy Reading! <3

Thank you to the team from HQ for sending me a hardcover ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Books · interviews

Book Author Interview – Katie Lowe

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Hello All!

I have the pleasure to give to you an exclusive interview with KATIE LOWE, the author of The Furies, a book which I love and cherish!

Katie Lowe is a writer living in Worcester, UK. Her debut novel, The Furies has been published by Harperfiction (UK) this May. I have the pleasure to have this amazing short e-interview with Katie, while we discuss who she is, what inspired her to become an author and find out more about her first book.

Who is Katie Lowe?

Well, at the moment, first and foremost, I’m a novelist – spending almost all of my time working on my second book. I’m also about to start my PhD in literature – on the subject of female rage in literary modernism, and contemporary women’s writing – so I’d also say I’m an avid reader!

I live in Worcester, in a lovely little house with my sister, who’s an incredibly talented musician… So I consider myself to be a pretty lucky person, all things considered.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I think in one way or another it’s what I’ve always wanted to be – there’s a photo of on my eighth birthday in front of the typewriter I’d begged my parents for, because even back then, apparently, I took myself very seriously as a writer!

With that said, I always thought I’d write non-fiction – so for a long time, my great dream was to become an academic, or a journalist. It was only when my agent suggested I try my hand at fiction that I even considered I might be able to do it – and even then, I had to work at it for a good four or five years before I figured out how, exactly, fiction works… And that I could have a lot of fun doing it.

What particularly inspired you to write ‘’The Furies’’?


I knew I wanted to write a book about young women – particularly teenage girls – because I remember that period of my own life as being pretty emotionally intense, and full of potential. And the idea of witchcraft as a form of rebellion seemed to me too interesting not to write about. I find it a really powerful idea, personally, to have this history of (often forgotten) women who’ve positioned themselves as outsiders, even in the face of truly terrifying consequences… So I wanted The Furies to, in some way, explore that.

What message do you want to give to your readers through ‘’The Furies’’?

I don’t think there are any characters in the book that are particularly aspirational, or who’d serve in any way as role models – so I’m not sure it’s got an enormously positive message, in that respect. But what I’d love for it to do is to show that women – even, and especially, young women – have real agency, and power, and that they only have to believe in their own ability to harness it to make incredible things happen… Though whether that’s a good thing for the girls in this book, I’ll let your readers decide!

How do you deal with a writer’s block?

To be honest, I’ve never really found writer’s block to be a huge issue – partly because, up until quite literally the last month, I’ve always had to find time to write outside of work, using free minutes here and there… So each time I’ve sat down at my desk, I’ve been desperate to get going.

However, I’ve definitely found myself stuck on plot points, or other technical issues, while writing before – and for me, the best way to keep going is to go and do something else. So, for instance, if I’m stuck on how to move the plot forward, I’ll go back to another part of the book and focus on the description, the dialogue, or something else, and polish it up – and usually while I’m working on that, something will click with the bigger issue, so I can pick up where I left off.

What is the most challenging part when writing a book?


For me, it’s definitely plot. I so admire writers who can put together a really gripping, twisty plot – and it’s what I wanted to learn how to do with The Furies (though I’ll let you decide whether I’ve succeeded!) Writing flowery descriptions and spending time in character’s heads – that, for me, is all a joy – but the mechanics of getting a story from beginning to end in a way that’s believable, and yet unexpected… It’s definitely the biggest challenge, for me – and yet also the most satisfying thing to get right.

What kind of books do you want to read?


Given my PhD topic, this might be a fairly predictable answer – but I love books with complex, angry women – ideally who aren’t particularly likeable, either. I don’t know what that says about me, as a person, but… Here we are.

I also love books that give me an insight into a world, or a situation, that I know nothing about. I think there’s nothing better than closing the last page of a book and feeling like you truly experienced something you’d never have had the opportunity to, otherwise.

What was your favourite read in 2018?

A book that I absolutely adored – by which I mean, kept bringing up in conversation, without any context, and forcing it into the hands of almost-strangers – was Suicide Club by Rachel Heng. It’s an incredibly well-written book, with a brilliant premise – but it’s also deeply bittersweet, and asks a lot of questions about how, and why, we should want to live. I loved it.

Thank you for your time, Katie! It was a pleasure.

If you want to read my thoughts about The Furies, click here.

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